October, 2020

A security flaw in Grindr let anyone easily hijack user accounts

TechCrunch LA

Grindr, one of the world’s largest dating and social networking apps for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, has fixed a security vulnerability that allowed anyone to hijack and take control of any user’s account using only their email address.

Kara Nortman Was Just Promoted to Co-Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures. Here’s What it All Means

Both Sides of the Table

Today we’re announcing that my partner Kara Nortman is becoming Co-Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to welcome her to her new role.

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My dad said: “Never take on a business partner.”

Berkonomics

My dad was a smart businessman, even if not formally trained. He occasionally gave me advice that turned out to be more than wise, looking back at subsequent experience and events.

Water Tech Companies Are Springing Up in LA

L.A. Business Journal

In many areas of the world, there may be no more precious commodity than water — and that’s especially true in Los Angeles

Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

10 Principles For Surviving Hard Times In Any Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

“The devil in the details” is a quote that we have all heard, and clearly applies to startups, where success in the long run is all about execution.

Amazon, Rivian Reveal First Electric Delivery Vehicle

socalTECH

Amazon and Rivian , the electric vehicle developer with operations in Irvine and Carson, California, have revealed Amazon's first electric delivery vehicle, which Amazon plans to roll out as part of its climate efforts.

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Spying a pivot to ghost kitchens, Softbank’s second Vision Fund pours $120 million into Ordermark

TechCrunch

“We’re building a decentralized ghost kitchen,” is a sentence that could launch a thousand investor calls, and Alex Canter, the chief executive officer behind Ordermark , knows it.

Should you include your sweat equity in a business plan?

Berkonomics

Investors love it when entrepreneurs draw little or no money from their startups. It extends the cash available for research and other necessary fixed costs and gives the fragile, young company more “runway” to get to breakeven. What are you worth to the business?

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Local Tech Companies Work to Get Out the Vote

L.A. Business Journal

Social platforms and media content creators in Los Angeles are leveraging their influence to encourage voting by Gen Z and millennial audiences as registration deadlines approach

How The Reality That Entrepreneurs Face Is Not Fair

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the time, I’m all about providing encouragement and inspiration to entrepreneurs. They need it and they deserve it, because entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy.

Draper Goren Holm Raises $25M Blockchain Fund

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Draper Goren Holm , a new venture capital fund founded by Tim Draper, Alon Goren, and Josef Holm, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $25M in its very first fund. According to the firm, its Fund 1 will make seed and Series A investments in the fintech and blockchain startup world. The fund was announced at the LA Blockchain Summit, which is virtual this year.

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GrubMarket raises $60M as food delivery stays center stage

TechCrunch LA

Companies that have leveraged technology to make the procurement and delivery of food more accessible to more people have been seeing a big surge of business this year, as millions of consumers are encouraged (or outright mandated, due to Covid-19) to socially distance or want to avoid the crowds of physical shopping and eating excursions.

Scopely raises $340 million at a $3.3 billion valuation as gaming grabs investors’ interest

TechCrunch

In a move to shore up institutional support in what’s likely to be it’s last fundraising as a private company, the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming behemoth Scopely has raised $340 million in its latest eye-popping round of funding.

What is your biggest error in company planning?

Berkonomics

The biggest error in planning may not be spreadsheet calculation error. Or cost estimation. It is most often missed assumptions about the market, the competition, the speed of adoption, or other critical metrics you’ve researched, or selected, or even just guessed at to create your plan.

Gulfstream to Relocate Employees to Van Nuys Airport

L.A. Business Journal

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will move jobs to Van Nuys Airport from Long Beach as part of a streamlining and modernizing of its customer service

How To Find Support Resources For Your Startup Stage

Startup Professionals Musings

Some entrepreneurs start polling venture capitalists for that multi-million dollar investment before they even have a business plan. That’s like trying to sell part of something to a stranger for big money when you haven’t fully defined it yet.

Belkin Rolls Out 60W GaN Wall Charger

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Belkin is rolling out a new, 60W wall charger based on new gallium nitride (GaN) technology, which promises to make wall chargers much smaller than they are now. According to Belkin, its BOOST CHARGE PRO USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger charges such USB-C PD enabled devices as the Google Pixel 5, iPad Pro or Macbook Pro.

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Investors back Pacific Consolidated Holdings to merge leading LA-based liquor and weed delivery companies

TechCrunch LA

There’s a new company that’s sitting on top of some of the fastest growing consumer-facing businesses in the world — liquor and marijuana delivery — and its name is Pacific Consolidated Holdings Group.

CONNECT Legal Office Hours

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 --.

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What’s the Most Important Thing in a Young Business?

Berkonomics

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Relativity Space Signs Rocket Contract With Lockheed

L.A. Business Journal

Rocket builder Relativity Space Inc., a Long Beach-based startup, signed a contract to build a 3D-printed rocket for aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. as part of an upcoming experimental NASA mission

How Bill Gates Was A Role Model For New Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Sometimes I like to drop the comment socially that “I knew Bill Gates back when he was a regular guy.” I know that dates me a good bit, but it also shows that I have been hanging around startups for a long time.

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Slingshot Aerospace Finds $8M More

socalTECH

El Segundo, California- and Austin, Texas-based Slingshot Aerospace , a developer of situational awareness technology that brings together imagery and data from satellites, drones, airplanes, and other sensors, has raised $8M in its Series A funding, the company said this morning.

Postmates is launching a new retail delivery feature as brick and mortar stores face 14% drop in sales

TechCrunch LA

Postmates is now rolling out what could be the biggest update to the company’s service in a long time — adding a retail option for users to shop local stores and for local merchants to set up a virtual on-demand storefront in the app.

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SoCal Tech Calendar - Untitled Article

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 --.

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Can you build a company, not just a product?

Berkonomics

Some businesses are built around a single idea. . And sometimes that idea is just too small a slice of the big picture to be interesting to investors. There was a recent investor event where I was keynote speaker, on stage only after several panels of experts had wowed the audience with their predictions and observations. One of the panelists made a point that resonated with me. Just a button, on a feature, in an app”.

J2Global to Acquire RetailMeNot for $420 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Downtown-based J2 Global Inc., an internet information and services company, has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire RetailMeNot Inc. for about $420 million

8 Keys To Attracting More Talent Than The Competition

Startup Professionals Musings

Due to the pervasive Internet, the scope of most successful startup teams today has become global. Also, more people are only available to work remotely , especially with the current pandemic.

Beachbody Launches Running Program

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based fitness and nutrition content provider Beachbody announced it has launched a new, running program for its customers, with the goal of getting its customers to be able to complete a 5K on day 30. The new program, "30 Day Breakaway" is being made available through Beachbody's "On Demand" platform. Pricing ont he new program was not announced. The company said the fitness program is its very first for runners. READ MORE>>. fitness exercise content runner 30day running beachbody

LA’s Replicated looks to increase R&D and hiring for its operations management software after raising $25 million

TechCrunch LA

The Los Angeles-based operations and security management software service, Replicated has raised $25 million to ramp up its staffing and scale its sales and marketing efforts.

Virtual Tech Happy Hour

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, October 15, 2020 --.

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LA-based MarketerHire upgrades its service matching remote marketers with companies

TechCrunch

MarketerHire , a Los Angeles-based startup backed by a slew of executives from some of the city’s hottest startups, launched its new service matching freelance marketing experts with open jobs listed on its platform. . Today’s startup economy depends on the expertise of industry specialists as much or more than full-time generalists,” said Nick Green, co-founder and CEO Thrive Market, MarketerHire customer and investor, in a statement.

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SpaceX Launches 60 More Satellites

L.A. Business Journal

Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. sent 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit using the company’s Falcon 9 rocket during an Oct. 18 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

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5 Generators Of Customer Pain Conducive To Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

One of my favorite sayings is “Real change doesn’t happen until the pain level gets high enough.” There aren’t many of us who love change, just for the opportunity to learn something new, and even we won’t pay much for it.

OnSite Waste Technologies Finds $3.5M

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based OnSite Waste Technologies has raised $3.5M in a Series A funding round, according to the company. The funding round was led by Mark IV Capital, which also is based in Newport Beach. The startup says it is developing technology for immediate sterilization of medical waste. The firm reported the funding was oversubscribed.

Odell Beckham Jr. turned to Mojichat’s advertising features during his inaugural live-stream

TechCrunch LA

Mojiit, the Los Angeles-based company behind the popular avatar generation service Mojichat, has landed one of its highest-profile users with the launch of Odell Beckham Jr.’s ’s live stream over the weekend. As Odell Beckham Jr.